Bowiemas 2019
January 7, 2019 10:20 PM   Subscribe

January 8th is Bowiemas! This year you can celebrate by downloading (not free) the David Bowie Is... museum exhibit onto your smartphone to view in Augmented Reality! Narrated by Gary Oldman, it's apparently gigantic and maybe a bit unwieldy [Guardian review], but it's David Bowie! In your phone! How cool is that? posted by hippybear (18 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I don't need Bowie in my phone because he's already in my heart.
posted by loquacious at 10:56 PM on January 7 [16 favorites]

That tape of Bowie's impressions is gold. I remember somebody posting it on Metafilter shortly after Bowie's death and it was a much-needed laugh. There are pro impressionists who only WISH they were as good as Bowie when he was just fucking around at the end of a recording session. I gather that the finished song was never released, which is a shame. It's catchy!

As if Bowie wasn't enough to make January 8th the best birthday ever, it's also the birthday of Elvis freaking Presley, Stephen Hawking, Graham Chapman, William Hartnell, Shirley Bassey... and, um, me! (As well as Betty DeVos, Kim Jong-Un and R. Kelly. But even those assholes can't keep January 8th from being the most awesomest of all the birthdays!)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:58 AM on January 8 [10 favorites]

I made a holiday greeting thing last Bowiemas, if you need to share the spirit of the season!
posted by Vervain at 1:32 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

There’s already lots of David Bowie in my phone, in my music library.
posted by Anne Neville at 3:21 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

Brief reminder to fellow worshipers: Bowie's in space.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:35 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]

This is like that Russian story where the witch had a glass mountain, and in the mountain there was a lake, and in the lake there was a boat, and in the boat there was a bird, and in the bird there was a heart, and in the heart there was a phone, and on the phone was a lot of Bowie.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:36 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]

My sister (who's five years and one day younger than me) got Bowie as a birthday. I just got Shirley MacLaine and, umm, Aleksandr Dugin. One day I'll forgive my parents.

posted by acb at 5:45 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

This last year I finally found something I wanted to do with the frequent flier miles I had accumulated during the eight years of my old job with all the travel: I used them to fly to NYC and see David Bowie Is... at the Brooklyn Museum with a friend a week before it closed permanently. It was absolutely stunning, quite possibly the highlight of my year. So thank you for this post, because I would love to be able to see certain parts of this again and to show other people who didn't get to see it.

Happy Bowiemas, everyone. I hope he enjoyed visiting our planet.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:48 AM on January 8 [14 favorites]

Shout out to Crayon Jones, who runs @CrayonToCrayon, one of the best twitter feeds for all your Bowie needs.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:27 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

I saw David Bowie Is_ in Chicago and later wrote a bunch about it for a museum studies class. My final takeaway was that the best thing the exhibit did was to create a communal space where people could revel in shared excitement; which sounds kind of slight and trivial but is a really powerful thing, really. A slightly de-academified version is up on my website, if you're interested.

Also, on Twitter, I suggested that the best way to celebrate Bowie's birthday was to dig the Bad Plus' cover of Life on Mars, which I think is the best Bowie cover. A friend came back with Blondie doing Heroes, which is also pretty goddamned good.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:24 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]

I'm hoping that there will be a permanent museum somewhere.
posted by brujita at 7:30 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]

Happy Bowiemas, everybody!

This spring, Parlaphone is going into the archives to release some of Bowie's late 60s demos as a nine-record set (on 45s), called Spying Through the Keyhole. Here for it! But man, there's so much stuff in the archives I'm dying to hear, like the aborted Ernie Johnson rock opera, the full 1972 Boston show from the soundboards (and not just the few tracks that were on the 30th anniversary re-release of Aladdin Sane), any additional music he may have made for his 1984 musical, anything he and Eno may have come up with post-1.Outside, etc. etc. etc.

Also, the Tintoretto altarpiece he bought, The Angel Foretelling Saint Catherine of Alexandria of Her Martyrdom will be on view at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The private collector who bought it at auction in 2017 has given it to the Rubens House in Belgium as a long-term loan, and in turn they are going to loan it for Biennale.

I got the app this morning for my iPad and it's a bit unwieldy. Before I knew it was coming, I'd felt as if I should go to the exhibition as many times as possible to burn everything into my brain, so I went first to the show in Barcelona, which was a very quiet and contemplative experience (there were not a lot of people there on the day I went, so I got to spend a long time there and really see everything). I went 4 times to the Brooklyn version, which I thought had a very communal and joyous atmosphere (even if it felt a bit like being in a shopping queue at the beginning), and there were more objects! I too would like a permanent museum, but he's got a heck of a lot of stuff. Setting up a new museum is a major endeavor.

While this app doesn't at all replicate either of the environments or bring up the feelings I had at these shows, the creators did a good job of immersing you into the work he did. I wish, however, that certain details were explained more, like what sort of fabric was the Yamamoto black suit made of? And while Gary Oldman's narration is fine, I'm glad you can shut it off. Most times, I don't want my experience filtered through someone else's narration.
posted by droplet at 7:59 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]

I hadn’t heard that impersonations tape before. His Lou Reed is totally uncanny!
posted by Jellybean_Slybun at 8:38 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

Something happened on the day he died...
posted by symbioid at 9:11 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]

(Ha. Jack Womack points out another January 8th'er who burned so very very brightly.)
posted by octobersurprise at 10:32 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

Thank you, hippybear. Blessings of Bowietide to us all!
posted by ob1quixote at 11:43 AM on January 8

I remember going to 'David Bowie Is' in Melbourne with my now wife in 2015 maybe five months into dating each other. Went for the Guild of Calamitous Intent; did not walk away disappointed. Afterwards we stood on the Spencer Street bridge (this being the sort of Extremely Melbourne Date where we only did things that would have felt appropriate in an early 90s Things of Stone and Wood music video) and bonded over not just his body of work but its existence as background radiation through our whole lives. It got very solemn when we realised that David Bowie's work had been there our whole lives but that maybe one day soon *he* wouldn't be, and that of all the strageness about him and and his career, the idea that he was just a person, getting older at the same rate as everyone else, somehow that seemed the most alien thing about him of all. It still does.
posted by MarchHare at 2:11 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]

getting older at the same rate as everyone else [citation needed]
posted by Meatbomb at 4:05 PM on January 9

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